The Littlest Helper Tower

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/12/2019 - 14:34
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Build your own toddler step stool and bring your child to counter height. Features adjustable height platform, removable tip resistant kit, and optional fold flat modification.

blue little helper tower in white kitchen

Reader submitted photo by Ginger and the Huth

dimensions diagram for little helper tower
Dimensions are shown above. Heights of rungs are adjustable platform heights. Platform measures 15″ x 18″. You can add additional guards to fit the special needs of your individual child. For an older child you could remove the tip resistant kit for a more compact profile.


Shopping List

1 – 1×8, 8 feet long

4 – 1×2, 8 feet long

1 – 1×3, 8 feet long

Cut List

4 – 1×2 @ 38″ (Legs)

8 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Ladder rungs)

1 – 1×8 @ 15″ (Arches) OR 2 - 1x3 @ 15" (Substitute for arches)

2 – 1×8 @ 16 1/2″ (Front and Back Sides)

2 – 1×8 @ 18″ (Platform)

2 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Platform Supports)

2 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Bottom Supports)

2 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Top Supports)

2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (Tip Resistors)

4 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Tip Resistors)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Cut Arches From the 1×8 that is 15″ long, cut arches as shown in diagram with a jigsaw.  Adjust so you can get both arches on the 1x8.

NOTE: Some people just opt for straight boards across as done in this reader submitted photo. 

simple little helper tower modification

You can substitute for 1x3 instead.  This will simplify the building process.

Step 2

Ladder Rungs

Measure and mark legs for ladder rung positions. Drill 3/4" pocket holes and apply glue to ends of ladder rungs. Attach with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Build two identical.

Step 3


Mark the location of the end pieces and predrill holes. Apply glue and screw in place with pocket hole screws. Adjust for square. You can add additional rails to the front and back as you see fit, but keep the sides open so your youngster can crawl in and out of the helping tower.

Step 4


Next, build your platform by marking the 1x8s that are 18″ long 1″ from the outsides. Attach with glue and 1 1/4″ screws the platform supports. These platform supports not only join the 1x8s, but they also keep the platform in place inside the helping tower.

Step 5

Step 6

Tip Resistant Foot

Round the corners on the tip resistors as shown above. Screw together. You can optionally exclude the smaller tip resistors, as side to side tipping is less likely than backward tipping. You know your child better than anyone. Build to suit your child’s needs

Step 7

Attach Tip Resistant Footer

Simply screw the tip resistant footer to the legs as shown above.

Step 8

Folding Mod

By placing hinges instead of screwing the front and back pieces to the side pieces, you can make the Little Helper Tower fold easily. Just make sure you use plenty of strong hinges, make the platform fit very tight (adjust the inset on the ends to 3/4″ instead of 1″ in step 4, and regularly check to make sure your hinges are not loose. I personally prefer simplicity, and any time you add hinges, it increases the complexity. But for those of you who require storage for the Little Helper Tower (would slide under a bed easily) this mod if done with care can be the solution.

Step 9


Sabrina (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 12:29

Super cute! I've ben tempted by the retail version (which does coops, btw, for the non-builders who are good organizers) but still put off by the $100+ price and the space it takes up.

For this price, I might justify the space!

shorty (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 20:59

I just wanted to thank you for this WONDERFUL blog!!! I have yet to make anything but when the times comes I know I will be able to do it with all the wonderful help you have given us! My friend has made so much furniture from this site I think her house has had a complete make over this year!!! I hope you have a WONDERFUL new year and that next will be even better for you!

Homebirth Mama (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 22:16

brilliant Ana! thank you so, so much for this one!

i was just thinking last week that it would be simply awesome if you hacked the learning tower. when i stopped by to finalize my choices of projects for january, to my delight, i saw that you did hack them.

you totally, completely, utterly, MEGA rock!

Homebirth Mama (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 22:17

there are many brands of non-toxic paint out there. bio-shield, afm safecoat. milk paint would be a fantastic choice too.

Heather Fox (not verified)

Sat, 01/01/2011 - 13:19

Have you thought about a second life for this project. I was thinking that we'd make this for our girls and when they get too tall, it can be quickly modified to a puppet theater or playhouse.

Lavina D. (not verified)

Sat, 01/01/2011 - 18:09

I am SUPER excited about this one! I think I have all the lumber in the garage to make it! Do you think the tower would maintain its' stability if I widened it to fit two children? I was thinking 24 inches. Thanks.

Al Benton (not verified)

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 06:22

Ana, great design! We have twin granddaughters that just turned 3. My first thought was one wider stand but ruled it out. They're very competitive so one each may be safer. They love helping mom in the kitchen.

Cheryl (not verified)

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 18:17

We have a family of five in just over 1000 sq. ft. as well and I actually have a learning tower that someone gave me (otherwise I'd be building this right now). The LT has actually made more room for me in the kitchen, because both my boys (3 and 1) can stand on it together versus each on a chair. My one year-old loves to hang out on it while I do lots of other stuff, too. In my case it was worth the space it takes up and Anna is right, it's not as big as it looks.

farm-marm (not verified)

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 20:42

Kerrie! I have 5kids and me and hubby in 1200 sf. If we can do it anyone can! Its tight to be sure but with creativity you can make it work! Thanks to Ana I have so many ideas just waiting to build! I too thought this would be great for my 2 toddlers as a great climber. They could use it in the kitchen too. LOVE it Ana! Thanks for your site it's pure genius!

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 08:10

Heather, my daughter is four, so she really is on the upper end of needing this. But she is fascinated with using it as a "tower" and playing Rapunzel and is constantly draping blankets over it and making forts. It is her favorite thing right now! I would like to add a chalkboard/easel as well . . . and I did make a folding mod, so check back for that post.

I would not buy this(retails for $150-$200) with an only child because of the cost/space considerations, but if you can make it for $20, that changes everything. So when your child outgrows it in a few years, there will be little guilt about repurposing or donating or handing it down.